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A Czech Company Just Unveiled An Electric Car That Looks Retro In A Good Way

Illustration for article titled A Czech Company Just Unveiled An Electric Car That Looks Retro In A Good Way
Screenshot: MW Motors

Have you ever heard of MW Motors? No, you haven’t. Let me fill you in: MW is a Czech firm that, this week, unveiled what it said on its website was, “Not a concept.” The car, they insist, is “real.” It’s an electric called the Luka EV, and even if this is car is never made, I think it looks good, so there’s that.

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Aesthetically, it’s retro, which is always a crowd-pleaser. MW announced the car with a YouTube video posted on Monday. MW says it’s, “the first production car to use in-wheel hub motors.”

MW—slogan “We challenge the norm”—also says on its website that the car will have a motor on each wheel making 66 horsepower. It also says the range will be 300 kilometers, or around 186 miles. The top speed is 90 mph. It goes zero to 60 in 9.6 seconds. It weighs approximately 1,800 pounds. All of these claims carry this not-exactly-assuring-caveat: “*Unofficial in-house testing. We will upgrade specifications once we have all details proven by a certified testing laboratory.”

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So... Sure! What do we know about MW Motors, itself? Not much, and not even Google is that forthcoming, though here’s a years-old interview with its founder, Maurice Ward.

Here’s how Ward describes his team:

There is a team of people involved with the LUKA EV. In addition to myself, there are four guys who work at the IT department in my company, each of whom have donated their time to the project. Various other employees and friends have also contributed their time, ideas and expertise. We have now employed one full-time person and one contractor to work full-time on the project.

So, Ward and some friends tooling around. Why not.

They’ve previously also talked about a made-for-the track car called the Exodia. Will we ever see either of these cars? We can only hope.

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“This means we will always improve everything all the time. We do not overpromise,” MW says on its website. “We are aware of our size and our capabilities and we know we are a niche player.”

At any rate, the Luka EV reminded us a lot of a Reliant Sabre. Good looking car, the Sabre.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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DISCUSSION

That is a good looking car.

You know what looks even better? Buttons.

You heard me. Buttons, knobs, sliders. Physical things that control other physical things. Controls with mechanical linkages behind them.

Okay, sure - cables break. Rods bend. It happens. Electronic controls connected to electronic actuators via wires are lighter and cheaper to install. I get that. But you know what else? I don’t think I care much.

If I want to turn on the AC in my car, I push a physical button. It goes click, not because a teeny electric motor inside the touchscreen gave it a little thump, but because a mechanical switch inside closed the circuit. *click*. I can operate it without looking because I can feel it, it’s a distinct feature on the instrument panel that doesn’t need eyes. You can fee the difference between the instrument panel and button. There are edges. And if you just go pushing at stuff you’ll eventually feel the click and know you’ve done it.

Lights? Got a knob for that. Two clicks.

Radio? Push the button and turn the knob. Click, twist. When Quiet Riot comes up, twist some more because the name is better when it’s ironic.

These touchscreens sure do look slick and they make for a featurelessly stylish instrument panel when the car is turned off, but when the car is turned off I don’t really care what the panel looks like because I’m not going to be in it, and when the car is turned on I’m looking at the road. I shouldn’t have to LOOK at the instrument panel to know whether I’m turning on the seat warmers or the rear defogger.

STOP USING TOUCHSCREENS I HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD.